The Kawa River Model: Applying Theory to Develop Interventions for Combat and Operational Stress Control

Brian T. Gregg, Dana M. Howell, Charles D. Quick, Michael Kenko Iwama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article proposes the implementation of the occupational therapy Kawa (Japanese for river) model to promote “culturally relevant” client-centered care for combat and operational stress control services provided in the military context. Currently, the occupational therapy literature lacks a culturally sensitive approach to address the military service members’ experiences with combat and operational stress. A review of the Kawa model features are provided within a case study for a military service member affected by combat and operational stress. This theoretical article offers a pragmatic method for infusing occupational therapy theory to address the cultural aspects of military service members in recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-384
Number of pages19
JournalOccupational Therapy in Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015



  • Kawa model
  • combat and operational stress control
  • culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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